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Four books with accessible theologies
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Rediscover Church: Why The Body Of Christ Is Essential
Collin Hansen & Jonathan Leeman
Rediscover Church devotes a chapter to explaining each clause in this thesis: “A church is a group of Christians, who assemble as an earthly embassy of Christ’s heavenly kingdom, to proclaim the good news and commands of Christ the King; to affirm one another as His citizens through the ordinances; and to display God’s own holiness and love, through a unified and diverse people, in all the world, following the teaching and example of elders.” The result is a neat and worthwhile refresher on what church is and how to do it. Church is for making disciples and worshipping the triune God. “You return to church because you belong to God, because Christ gave his body.” Hansen and Leeman expound on that with depth and grace.
How Can I Support International Missions?
Yes, giving money is on the list—but it comes sixth out of the nine ways to support missions that missionary Mark Collins lists in this 50-page booklet. His No. 1 way? Know the gospel. You must share it yourself too: “You can’t be faithful in big things until you’re faithful in little things.” Collins also suggests learning more about missions, especially by reading missionary biographies. He urges readers to support only a few missionaries because it allows you to know who you’re supporting. Keep up with your missionary personally through letters and phone calls, he says, and then use that knowledge to get the rest of the church excited about missions. Collins’ work may be God’s way of calling some believers to the mission field.
Evangelism In The Old Testament: The Unfolding Drama Of World Missions
Norman De Jong
De Jong’s book looks at some of the most famous scenes in the Old Testament seeking, not moral lessons or theological implications, but how God declared the good news of salvation. Thus, De Jong sees the 10 plagues and Red Sea crossing as evangelistic campaigns directed to Pharaoh, and Daniel’s sojourn in the lion’s den as God’s way of giving Darius the gospel. Some of his instances of evangelism are obvious, like Jonah going to Nineveh. Others will be new to most Christians—e.g., the proclamation of covenant curses from Mt. Ebal in Deuteronomy 27. De Jong doesn’t think that evangelism is the primary focus of these passages, but he convincingly shows that it is always one of God’s purposes in His self-revelation.
The Local Church: What It Is And Why It Matters For Every Christian
Edward Klink III
“Dr. Klink, can you give me any good reason why a Christian needs the church?” That challenge, issued at a party 15 years ago, has been reverberating in Edward Klink’s head ever since. This book is his answer. Klink begins by clearing away misconceptions regarding the church (it’s not coffee with friends, not a metaphor) and then boldly argues that the church is Christ’s bride and body, His ambassadors and children of His Father. That means it needs to worship (love God), witness (love others), and nurture (love one another). “Your local church is the primary people and place where your relationship with God happens,” Klink affirms. In fact, “a churchless Christianity has no relation to Christ.” Strong words … and true.
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